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With an increase in federal payouts comes an increase in improper payments

January 18, 2022


Agencies made speed a priority when issuing the first rounds of COVID-19 recovering spending in 2020, a decision that came with a few tradeoffs.

The governmentwide improper payment rate increased between fiscal years 2020 and 2021, driven largely by programs that administered trillions of dollars in pandemic spending.

The Office of Management and Budget, in a Dec. 30 blog post, found improper payments grew most under the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance program, which saw its improper payment rate reach nearly 19% — eight points higher than pre-pandemic rates.

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